Accountability: Becoming the person you want to become

Posted May 7, 2009 by Mark Kerrigan
Categories: personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, twitter, Web2.0

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AccountabilityIn starting this recent chapter of my blog, I decided to create some sort of accountability which would hopefully “encourage” me to write on a more regular basis. Each week, I’m making a (seemingly) feasible goal of action.

This week, I have aspired to make contact with people in the mainstream (traditional) media, since I’m working to become the next generation of “new” media. So far this week, I have endeavored to for connections with 15 people from Facebook who work for CBS. Several have responded, but the rest have either ignored my friend request or haven’t taken action. Should I move on with others, or should I keep asking those who haven’t replied?

My second goal from my last post was to become more accountable by making more frequent blog posts. That’s an easy one. By doing just this, I’ve taken action to make it happen.

My third goal is to use my time more wisely: I accomplished this goal by implementing the use of a timer when using online aps on Facebook.

A friend sent me this Youtube video which I found sadly true and a bit amusing:

After watching it, I started making a list of my goals for next week:

  1. I need to have a business plan, something to fall back on when I get into a funk. I have never written a business plan, but I understand that by writing others’ business plans, it can be very lucrative, but first I want to have one of my own. Any advice from those who are more seasoned in business than I would be much appreciated.
  2. I intend to continue making connections in the traditional media.
  3. I will begin/continue trying to sell my services and those of others via social networks and the Relationship Economy.

How ’bout it?

Making Changes

Posted May 4, 2009 by Mark Kerrigan
Categories: networking, personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, Web2.0

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bk-powerofintentionOver the past couple of weeks, I have stated that I’m going to make some changes to my personal/business life. Here’s what I have endeavored to do:

  1. Make contact with mainstream media people on social networks like facebook and LinkedIn.
  2. Become more accountable to others in the business world by making posts like this on a fairly regular basis.
  3. Use my time more wisely. I’m beginning to feel guilty about the hours I while away playing online games.

Well, good news! I have been more accountable through my frequent posts. I have implemented using a timer on my iPod while spending time on social networks like Facebook. That suggestion was made by a friend who commented on one of my previous posts.

I have begun making contacts with people in the mainstream media. Today, I have already contacted a handful of people who have some affiliation with a major television broadcasting station.

And like I’ve already said, I’m making myself more accountable to those who read and respond to my posts by making more of them. So for this week, it’s a three for three! (I’ll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back.)

For this week, I intend to continue making connections and using a timer when I’m not engaged in something that is actively bringing me money.

  • Also, I intend to pursue contacts with people with whom I have spoken and have the potential to become clients of mine.
  • I will check out a website and provide a facebook “friend” with my opinion of his articles.
  • I will go tomorrow and finish up all the yearbook stuff going on at school. (Only have to give some yearbooks out and hopefully will be finished with it for a few months!)

How ’bout it?

Keeping Me Accountable

Posted April 30, 2009 by Mark Kerrigan
Categories: grammar, networking, personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, twitter, Web2.0

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One of my latest posts stated that I was going to chronicle change in my life. And to do this, I thought I could use some accountability partners — some people to say, what happened? Why didn’t you post? Why didn’t you do what you said you would.

Well, more than a week has gone by, and I’m just now making the first of my accountability posts. Truth be told, I’ve kind of been neglecting my blog because I fell a little short when reaching the goals I set last week.

As a reminder, here are the goals I made:

  1. I intend to begin to chronicle change.
  2. I intend to establish more connections on social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) with people who are involved in media.
  3. I intend to become more active in activities which will prove to be effective in my goal to show people the benefits of social networks for business.

Time to face the music.

  • With these posts, I did, in fact, begin to chronicle change. I had initially hoped I would make more frequent posts than once or twice a week, but unfortunately, I was either too busy or distracted to make more posts happen. Maybe next week.
  • My second goal from last week was to make connections with other people who are in traditional media. I failed to do this at all. I don’t know what happened to me, but I just felt like I lacked the energy to connect with others who could help me either bring business or other connections to people who are in the positions which could establish me as a prominent businessman. So that one will be on the list again.
  • The third and final goal I made last week was to become more active in activities which proved beneficial to my ultimate goal of showing the world how advantageous social networks were for business. For this one, I did fairly well, but I still found myself going to applications in Facebook which devoured HOURS of my time and energy. However, I have made a point to make calls to business people who are in positions to hire me.

How do you think I did? I can go through my lists and give myself a point value, but I realize that what I’m asking for is for  contributions! On a scale of 0 – 10, with 0 being not at all and 10 being remarkable work, how do you think I did?

I intend to make more goals and post them on Monday, May 4.

How ’bout it?

Did You KNOW???

Posted April 23, 2009 by Mark Kerrigan
Categories: networking, personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, twitter, Web2.0

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A friend sent me the link to this video this morning, and its message is both exciting and a little scary. Did you know that in only one year, the top 10 in-demand jobs did not exist only five years ago?

Sometimes information is too much for us to process, and sometimes we are immobilized by too much of it. Watch this 5 minute video, and then  let me know what your thoughts are about it.

Does this information come at us to fast for us to fully comprehend? Is anyone else frightened by the information overload which is occurring every second of every day 365 days a year?

How ’bout it?

Accountability Partners

Posted April 20, 2009 by Mark Kerrigan
Categories: networking, personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, twitter, Web2.0

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weightwatchers

weightwatchersMillions of people have reaped the benefits of accountability for their actions (what they eat) with Weight Watchers. Millions have been inspired to change themselves by the NBC show “The Biggest Loser.” They are not only making changes to their diets and exercise routines–they are making life-changes!

Reading this post, I am hoping that you are up to the challenge of becoming my accountability partner(s). This post is my first attempt to chronicle change, which I am endeavoring to make in my life.

As I said in the previous post, I welcome your thoughts and your input. In the words of Indiana Jones, “I’m makin’ this up as I go.” If there are things I should have done better, or things I could have done differently, please let me know.

This week:

  • I intend to begin to chronicle change.
  • I intend to establish more connections on social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) with people who are involved in media.
  • I intend to become more active in activities which will prove to be effective in my goal to show people the benefits of social networks for business.

Later this week, or possibly next week, I will let you know how I’ve done with these goals. Please remember that Web 2.0 is all about maintaining open lines of communication with the audience/customers/clients, so post your comments about this experiment.

How ’bout it?

Does It Hurt Bad Enough?

Posted April 16, 2009 by Mark Kerrigan
Categories: head injury, networking, personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, Web2.0

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hound-dogWith the economy as bad-off as it currently is, how can we keep doing the same things and expect a different outcome? Didn’t some philosopher (or the uber-friendly neighbor, Wilson from the TV show Home Improvement) say that a wise man learns from his mistakes and makes changes? It is a fool who does the same actions but expects different results.

But I’m not throwing stones here; I’m as bad as anyone a when it comes to resisting change. But what causes us to fear changing our status quo?

When I was a child, my family went to the home of two elderly people who were like family to my mom when she was growing up. I don’t believe there was a blood connection, but they were as good as grandparents could be.

When we arrived, after going through the obigatory hugs, kisses and check-pinches, my sisters and I went outside to see what we could get into. Stepping onto the front porch, we noticed the hound dog which had been lying there had not moved, but was softly whining.

We walked around, visited with the chickens the couple raised, and explored the farming equipment, the likes of which we had never seen. But being a boy, I realized that the lemonade I was given upon arrival had gone straight through me, and I needed to pee. So I headed back inside to use the facilities, and the dog was still lying in the same spot, apparently unmoved, still softly whining.

After going to the bathroom, I came back out, and there was the dog, same spot and still whining.

Later that afternoon, the old man came out with my dad to check on us kids, and my curiosity got the best of me. “Why’s that dog whimpering?”

“Well, thar’s a nail stickin’ up outta da porch tha’ he’s laying on.”

Why doesn’t he move? I asked, not expecting to get a valuable life-lesson as an answer.

“Donno. I reckon it don’ hurt bad enough.”

I said I O.K. and ran off to find my sisters, not really understanding how I could be affected by that simple statement from an old man who had never attended school past the third grade.

Is that what we are? Do we whine and complain about our circumstances ad nauseam, but never create change? Do we wish for better jobs, more money, a bigger house, but are reluctant to do anything differently?

That’s where I am, and that’s why I plan to chronicle the changes I need to see in my life. Since I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and since we are trying to be interactive (Web 2.0)I welcome your feedback about what I can do differently, better, and more effectively.

How ’bout it?

Clear Communication Is the Key To Writing

Posted April 13, 2009 by Mark Kerrigan
Categories: grammar, personal branding, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, Web2.0

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strunkwhiteIn my inbox today, I found a message from CopyBlogger on a subject which interests me: Three Grammar Rules You Can (And Should) Break. In an article by Michelle Pierce, she encourages writers to question the rules which we have had beaten into us by our teachers and others who happen to be well-versed in the written word and applicable grammar rules.

1. Ending a sentence with a preposition

I have no idea where this rule came from. What I do know is that many people, in an effort to keep from ticking off the Grammar Police, start twisting their sentences around so as not to end them with prepositions.

Unfortunately, more often than not, the new syntax is terribly awkward and painful to read. Take the first sentence of this section, for example. “From where this rule came” sounds like something Yoda would say, not me. A big part of blogging is showing your personality through words. How can you do that when you’re twisting your phrases to suit some archaic rule?

In the interest of clarity and readability, it’s quite all right to end a sentence with a preposition.

Did you get that? “In the interest of clarity and readability…” That means it’s okay to write (or say), “Where y’all from?” I remember a Designing Women episode in which MaryJo posed that question to a woman with whom she shared an elevator. The woman replied, “We are from somewhere where we know not to end a sentence with a preposition.”

Without missing a beat, MaryJo rephrased her question, “Where y’all from, bitch?”

Although I will usually let a preposition at the end of a sentence or question slide, my blood pressure and rockets skyward when I hear the preposition “at” as an ending: “Where you at?” or “Where do you work at?”

2. Beginning a sentence with “and” or “but”

Somebody, somewhere, once decided that you shouldn’t begin sentences with conjunctions. Maybe it was an overzealous teacher who thought her students were doing it too much. My guess is that it was frustrated mothers who got sick and tired of hearing their children start every single sentence with “But Mo-om!”

The rule even got screen time in the movie Finding Forrester, when Sean Connery and Rob Brown have an entire conversation about it (and deliberately start their sentences with the offending words in order to make their points).

Regardless of how it began, you don’t have to stick with it. It’s perfectly all right to start your sentences with “and” or “but.” It’s a great way to grab attention and emphasize a point. But, as in all things, take it in moderation.

I completely agree with the breaking of this rule. Both “But” and “And” are transitional words which form a bridge to thoughts conveyed in the previous paragraph. A journalism professor once explained to the class that it is acceptable to use transition words like these at the beginning of a paragraph. And that’s what I tend to do on a regular basis.

But that does not mean that the writer should begin an article or post using those words.

3. Splitting infinitives

How often have you heard that you’re not allowed to let another word come between “to” and its verb? Some people hold that construction with the same reverence as is typically given to marriage: that which the writer hath wrought together, let no man tear asunder.

Except that it’s really not that big of a deal. Come on: “to go boldly where no man has gone before” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “to boldly go.” If it sounds better to split the infinitive, then take an axe to it!

Don’t cling to the ancient rules just because your high school English teacher told you to. Be a rebel and break free of these nonsensical shackles!

Though I usually try to adhere to the grammatical rules I have been taught while both speaking and writing, sometimes this rule is appropriate to break. “Boldly to go” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “to boldly go…”

Though our English teachers would like us to think that all these rules were handed down to Moses like The Ten Commandments, they were not. And except for a few self-important grammarians, most people understand that sometimes rules can be broken…or at least bent!

The important thing is for what you have written to convey the intended message with as little chance of misinterpretation as possible.

How ’bout it?